Fake It Until You Feel It
Sound easy? Sound, well, fake? Sound like good or bad advice? I sought out a counselor within the first month. When I couldn’t control my emotions at all, when I could not stop the tears, I knew I needed help. I don’t remember now which “friend” referred me to the counselor I chose. I say” friend” because if it is who I think it was, that person is no longer a friend and has, as I like to say, gone to the other side. Regardless, I am grateful for the referral, as I benefited very much from the counselor. I saw her once a week for 3 years. I tried at one point to go every other week, and that was too long to wait. It was not cheap, but good things hardly ever are. I sometimes paid her to watch and listen to me cry, especially in the beginning. I couldn’t even speak; I just cried. Her warm and loving disposition did my heart good.
Eventually, we did talk. I expressed to her my difficulty enjoying anything at that point. Even things I used to enjoy, or things with my children, were almost impossible to enjoy. After some time of weekly visits, she asked me to try something for her. She wanted me to pretend to enjoy it. Pick something, anything, an outing with the kids, dinner with a friend, and pretend I liked it. First I said I wasn’t sure I could even do that, but she asked me to try. I agreed. The next visit, she asked how it went; was I able to do the exercise? To me, it felt strained, weird, and yes, fake. She explained that was okay, and we coined the phrase “fake it until you feel it.”